Expressive Florals

Flowers are one of the most popular subjects to photograph. The shapes, colors, and textures are stunning to capture macro or close-up. Shooting a garden filled with flowers can be a stunning landscape scene. I have shot flowers for many years. I enjoy discovering new and fresh ways to capture and showcase their beauty. I enjoy finding ways to express their personality and style. Each flower has a personality, and you can dress it up creatively and showcase that style. 

Let’s review several styles of creative flower photography. If you have a method you like, send me a note and share it with me. I also want to try new ways to express one of my favorite photography subjects. 

Still-life arrangements of flowers or a single flower in a vase are a great place to start. A bouquet in a vase at a window or on your kitchen table can be a stunning showcase. I also love the simplicity of one flower stem in a simple, slim vase. Any flowers work great in a still-life arrangement, making it an easy option. 

Next, I would try frozen flowers. This is a fun activity where you can freeze full flowers and stems, flower blooms, or even bouquets in water. Once frozen, you take them out and shoot in natural or added light. The beautification of the petals and the ice are stunning together. I prefer flowers that will appear on the ice - brighter colors like red, purple, pink, and yellow. I think that white or soft colors can be challenging. I also like the stronger colors against the ice. I have a full article here if you have never tried this method. 

Submerging flowers in water and shooting them is a new technique I worked on last year as a personal project. I enjoyed trying to determine the best method for this technique. I found that using a cylinder smooth glass vase worked best for me. I used natural light and tried several color backdrops behind the water cylinder as I shot. I have a full article about this method at this link. I would recommend a flower that looks dancing for this method. Tulips work great. I prefer a flower that will bend a little in the water to look natural and give the feeling of movement. For color, I think you could use any color as long as you have the right light. 

One of my favorite methods is using a light tracing pad. This method requires you to have an artist light tracing pad to use. This method lets you capture a single flower on the pad or multiple flowers in a bouquet. Any color of flowers works, but for your bouquet, try to put together flowers that look like they would grow together. I like to create garden scenes on the light pad and then shoot. This technique does require a tripod and some advanced editing.  Click here to see my setup and suggestions for editing. I also have a complete course on lightpad photography. 

Shooting in the round is one of my favorite options for capturing flowers and creating movement with them. This is a method where you place a flower or group of flowers in a vase. Set up your tripod for this activity. After each shot, I turn the vase and then take another shot. You can take as many as you like, but 6-12 works nice and reduces the editing time. This technique does require editing in a program like Photoshop to combine the images beautifully. Check out this video to learn more. 

Lastly, my project for this month is shooting submerged flowers with ink. I have been studying the work of Robert Peek for a while now and thinking about how I can use his method to create my version of his dreamy flowers. I will use a clear cylinder vase, natural light, and a softer backdrop for my work. I can’t wait to play with this method in February and share the results. I ordered some white ink on Amazon to get started. I have heard that you can also use milk. Check out Robert’s work for inspiration at this link. 

I hope you will try one or more of these fun options and explore the creative beauty of flowers! 

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